Mammas Gotta Breathe 

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Ever had a bit of advice seem insignificant at the time but hit you hard in the gut later? An old teaching friend of mine gave me a bit of enlightenment that has stuck with me through motherhood. When she shared this story with me I was single and kidless - so it didn’t resonate. Four years later - it is everything. She said “Mamas gotta breathe.” It comes from an airplane when the masks drop and the instructions are to put the mask on yourself first so that you can breathe and then help those around you. You can’t help others unless you are ABLE TO first. “Mamas gotta breath” is my way of reminding myself that it’s not selfish to take time for myself. It’s not egocentric to focus on myself. It’s not wrong to pamper myself. Actually, everything about it is RIGHT. 

The guilt we carry as mothers can be so suffocating it takes your breath. Suddenly, a trip to Starbucks without our children is deemed shameful in our minds. A jog around the block could be time to work on colors and ABCs. A dinner with girlfriends is clouded by the thoughts of our kids asking “where is mama?”. 

Mama is fine. Mama is good. Mama is clearing her head, laughing with adults (eeek!), and taking a restroom break alone (gasp!). When I give time to self care I am more present of a mother and more intentional of my time with my daughters.

If I could give any parent (new, soon-to-be, veteran) a piece of advice - let go of the guilt. Take care of yourself. Work out - if that’s your thing. Get a pedicure and go walk the mall (without your kids). Take extra long showers. Plan a trip with you and your spouse only. Plan a trip with girlfriends. Be a human again. Being a mom is everything. Praise God for this gift and opportunity to raise and love these little humans. But, the full time job of a mom can wear us so thin we forget to put any time into ourselves. Honestly, you’ll be doing your babies a favor more than yourself. They will experience a happy, purposeful, and content mama - nothing better!

Austin Payne